I went to see Citizen Koch last night at the Michigan Theater and I have to say it is well worth seeing. There are a few parts that will completely piss you off , other parts you might have never heard about.
The documentary starts out with a thorough recap about how the Citizens United case was decided by the Supreme Court. It does this using audio tapes form the supreme court hearings (photographs and television cameras are prohibited in the supreme court) and actual news clips discussing the landmark case. This sets the background for the rest of the documentary that shows the effect that the Citizen United case had on the next election cycles as well as the effect on Wisconsin and the battle between the public unions and Wisconsin’s new governor Scott Walker.
What I found rather interesting, that I really never knew about, was the parts related to Buddy Roemer who was a Republican candidate for president in 2012. Buddy Roemer was portrayed as a candidate that was purposely left out of all the Republican debates and overlooked by the Republican party overall. Roemer’s campaign platform was all about campaign finance reform which the Republican National Committee (RNC) was not interested in whatsoever. Roemer eventually turned independent, but still got nowhere in his campaign.
I barely remember Buddy Roemer at all being discussed in the news. If you think back to the Republican presidential debates in 2011 and 2012 you will remember some crazy debates where 7-8 candidates fought with each other stage and said some rather ridiculous things. If someone had told me that the party did not allow an additional candidate to speak at the debates, I would have thought that this candidate was left out because he was crazier than the other crazy candidates already on the stage. However, the clips in the documentary make Roemer look like the sane one. I am not sure if he is deserving of being characterized as the “sane” republican from the republican primary days, but he came off in a good light in this documentary. It was an interesting part of the film.
Other parts focused on Wisconsin Republicans and how they felt betrayed by Governor Walker and his attack on the public unions. What was interesting is that the point of view was from lifelong Republicans and not from Democrats. What I found surprising was some of the comments about how these lifelong Republicans felt betrayed because they felt the Republican Party was the party of the common man, but now wasn’t. The Republican party was anti union and affecting their livelihoods. They could not believe that this was happening
Huh? if the Republican Party was the party for the common man, then the Democratic party is the party for…..what?
There is an undertone of racism throughout, but it never really answer that question. They never inferred much about the Democrats except for a lot of tasteless Obama bashing by the Teapartiers. I just thought that ‘common man’ comment showed the complete disconnect of how people choose the party to vote for. Their shock was over something that I thought was rather clear…that the Republicans were for corporate interests and were out to destroy unions.
If you are one of those Democrats who are not pro-union ( and yes I know that some of you are out there), then the film also covers an interesting aspect of why unions are important in the election process. Unions are only 3 of the top 10 political donors in campaigns. If the conservatives can eliminate the unions, then all the top donors to political campaigns will be conservative Republican donors. What that means to you is that if the unions disappear, then the candidates that you want elected might not have the money needed to compete.
Overall I think the documentary is well done. It is definitely worth seeing. it is still playing at the Michigan Theater :
Monday June 16
Tuesday June 17
Thursday June 19
Or try and find it on Netflix.